Celebrate India has been organising Diwali celebrations in Melbourne for nearly a decade. This year, they’ve planned a fireworks display over the city’s iconic Yarra River that will be bigger, brighter and better than ever.
“We’ve spent time with the people who provide the fireworks to make sure it’s the most intensive, best quality, biggest height,” said Celebrate India founding member Arun Sharma, who spends a solid six months organising the week-long Diwali festivities with his committee compatriots.
“It’s at a beautiful location of course, on the Yarra River itself… and this time it’s even more special because the fireworks will be in Indian colours.”
Celebrate India is organising Diwali festivities around the City of Melbourne and at Melbourne Airport from 18 to 26 October.
The airport will come alive with decorations, Diwali videos and announcements of Diwali wishes in multiple languages.
The official festival launch will take place at the Consulate of India on 20 October, while Federation Square will see some hip shaking fun on 23 and 24 October with two Bollywood movie marathons. There will also be special outdoor performances at Flinders Street Station and City Square.
On the main day—25 October—activities will run non-stop at Federation Square from noon to 9.40pm. Visitors will enjoy multicultural dance performances, jugglers, clowns, Indian craft activities and face painting for children, meditation and yoga demonstrations, a dance workshop and multinational bazaar.
AFL players and Australian cricketers will also make appearances and the winner of the inaugural Indian essay competition for primary school students across Victoria will also be announced.
Another special event will see a first of its kind fusion performance by artistes from India, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and China. A renowned Odissi traditional dance troupe is also coming from India to add some extra authentic flavour to the day.
And of course there will be plenty of food.
“All this time we had different food stalls but for the first time this year we actually are able to organise food from different parts of India. So they’ll be all kinds of food coming from different parts, as well as Indo-Chinese and Nepalese foods,” Sharma said.
This year’s Diwali will be advertised at train stations around Victoria, spreading the festival cheer farther than ever before.
“The aim and mission of ours has always been to spread the culture as far as we can and get as many people involved in Diwali and the different activities,” said Sharma.
Published in The Indian Sun / Indian Magazine in Melbourne